Before my trip to the Road Lake, I had been using Daiwa Theory rods which were perfect for the 8 acre lake that I fish on a regular basis in Kent, but, with the Road Lake being 30 acres and a potential chuck in excess of my usual 40 yards required, I wanted something a bit beefier. The Missions, being made to Danny Fairbrass’ exacting standards and having all the hallmarks of the DF family but costing an RRP of only £125 were the obvious choice and three were soon mine.
The first thing that I noticed when I opened them up was the look – they ooze class and have the finish of a top of the range rod. The 50mm butt rings, shrink tube handle and matt finish means there definitely isn’t a better looking rod on the market. Coupled with my Emblem BR25A reels, I certainly had the sexiest setup on the lake!
The day of departure for the Road Lake soon came and after an easy journey we soon found ourselves walking round the lake, being given the tour from the bailiff. One thing was clear, as well as being a stunning venue, it was much bigger than anything I had fished before (a few trips to St John’s at Linear is probably the closest) and I was going to be casting further than normal. The draw took place and having come out 7th out of 9, I found myself in a swim known as The Shingles. I was pretty happy as I could see all of the lake, and as well as having the an open water spot at 20 wraps or 80 yards, I also had plenty of overhanging trees and bushes down both margins to target.
To cut a long story short, it was a very difficult week! The water levels were up about a metre higher than normal and the water was still only 6 Degrees Celsius meaning in the words of the bailiff, we were about a month behind and still in winter tactics mode. I put a little bit of bait out in my open water spot with the Whisker Spod Rod and Emblem reel which as always was ultra-reliable and hitting the spot with ease. When it came to casting out the rigs, the quality of the gear I was using soon became apparent. It is fair to say that I have never experienced such a smooth rod to cast with and despite being a 3.5tc, it felt so light meaning that hitting the clip each time was easy and left me feeling I could go a lot further if I really wanted to. One of the best things about all Daiwa reels is the quality of the line clip and the BR25A’s are no exception – putting the line in the clip was easy and the line effortless peeled away from the spool as the cast went out.
I only managed three fish but that wasn’t bad as several people blanked and out of 9 of us, the lake only did 21 all week. The only disappointment was that they were all around the 15lb mark, probably the three smallest in the lake. It was clear that the fish weren’t actively feeding and all three bites came to single Hybrid wafters with a small scattering of boilies over the top. Naturally, fishing a margin with overhanging trees and bushes, each fish made a dive for the snags tight to the bank and with all fish coming whilst I was in the bivvy, each one needed coaxing out. The power of the Missions came into their own and with a constant but not forceful pressure, each of the fish were turned and successfully landed. Again, playing the fish was the easiest experience I’ve had to date with the rod responding perfectly to everything I asked it to do whilst still allowing me to enjoy having an angry carp on the end!
In summary, the DF Misisons were by far the best rod that I have ever used and all the features you get defy their price tag. If this had been a ‘blind audition’ I would have told you that I had to have had a much more expensive rod in my hands. An RRP of £125 – that’s a bargain!